Foxconn 9800GTX – "change of clothes"
The NVIDIA G92 graphic processor has proved really successful and given birth to a number of models of video cards. G92 made its debut in GeForce 8800GT where it was in its "cut-down" form. Then, there appeared the "full-featured" GeForce 8800GTS 512 and even more "cut down" GeForce 8800GS, at which the capabilities of the new GPU seemed to have been exhausted. But its career only started at that. The next "job" of the new chip was GeForce 9800GX2, and now the graphic processor has migrated into GeForce 9800GTX. Judging by the name, the new product has come to replace GeForce 8800GTX video cards which were laid off production early in 2008. Perhaps that is why GeForce 9800GTX has been equipped with a "dual" connector to operate in the 3-way SLI combination - otherwise, how can it be a replacement if the predecessor was able to do that? Besides, the new video card has turned cheaper to manufacture, so there are more than enough reasons for NVIDIA to release it. You can compare the specifications of GeForce 9800GTX versus those of other video cards based on G92 from the below table.
|Name Specifications ||GeForce 9800GTX ||GeForce 8800GTS 512 ||GeForce 8800GT ||GeForce 8800GS|
|GPU ||G92 ||G92 ||G92 ||G92|
|Video memory capacity, MB ||512 ||512 ||512 ||384|
|Memory bus width, bit ||256 ||256 ||256 ||192|
|Core / GPU shader unit frequency, MHz ||675/1688 ||650/1625 ||600/1500 ||550/1375|
|Effective frequency of the video memory, MHz ||2200 ||1944 ||1800 ||1600|
|Universal processors ||128 ||128 ||112 ||96|
|Texture units ||64 ||64 ||56 ||48|
|SLI type ||3-way SLI (dual connector) ||SLI (single) ||SLI (single) ||SLI (single)|
|Specifications common for all the video cards ||PCI-Express 2.0 x16 / 2xDVI / HDMI / S-Video|
As you can see, GeForce 9800GTX does not make much difference from the cheaper GeForce 8800GTS 512. Now let's take a closer look at the new product. In our today's review, we are having the overclocked Foxconn GeForce 9800GTX.
To all appearances, the front side of the box demonstrates the dignity of the contents. Some inspiring god with the arms stretched upwards and a whole heap of awards from varied sites indicate that. In fact, the list of awards on the front side is not yet finishing.
The box can be opened up like a book. The list of awards acquired by the manufacturer goes on inside. There is also a space for other advantages of the video card, to be more precise, the technologies implemented in it. By the way, the video card can be watched through a special small window.
The reverse side of the box tells a bit about the SLI technology and other NVIDIA's proprietary technologies.
The package bundle of Foxconn 9800GTX is rather sensible:
- two power supply adapters for PCI-E video cards;
- two DVI > D-SUB adapters;
- s-video > s-video splitter + component out adapter;
- CD with Drive Clone 3 and Virtual Drive 11.5;
- drivers CD;
- user's guide.
Foxconn 9800GTX has proved to be rather large, or long. At that, the new product is able competing against the monsters like GeForce 8800GTX/Ultra or Radeon HD3870 X2.
On the reverse side, you can see the "dual" SLI connector, the same as that on GeForce 8800GTX/Ultra video cards.
The same connector allows merging three video cards using a special bridge into an SLI trio.
In the tail part of the video card, there are two 6-pin power connectors to apply S/P-DIF sound signal.
Near the DVI connectors or, to be precise, near the screw, there is a power indicator of the video card.
The video card is of NVIDIA's customary design. The cooling system is made almost completely of aluminum, with merely a pad for the graphic chip and the heat pipes made of copper.
Under the plastic housing there are three heat pipes soldered to the copper insert, with aluminum plates strung on them. The resultant structure is blown with a fan, with hot air expelled outside the CPU housing.
The PCB of Foxconn 9800GTX does not make much difference from that of GeForce 8800GTS 512. In the center of the board, there is the GPU NVIDIA G92 with 128 active universal processors as it was in the predecessor. In semi-circle around it, there are eight video memory chips making up 512 MB altogether. But despite the graphic processor similar to that of GeForce 8800GTS 512, the new product has noticeably grown in size.
The cause of that is the power supply subsystem which has grown complicated versus that of GeForce 8800GTS 512. Judging by the number and type of throttles, the GPU has acquired four power supply phases versus three in the predecessor, and the number of feed phases of the video memory has grown up to two versus one in GeForce 8800GTS 512. Such complications have allowed the video card to run stably at greater frequencies, although that is not an axiom.
The graphic processor has the G92-420 marking and belongs to revision 2. Recall that the chip in GeForce 8800GTS 512 is marked as G92-400. The figure in this case defines the purpose of the chip, and in our case the figure "420" points to GeForce 9800GTX.
The memory chips are made by Samsung and offer 0.8 ns access time, which is equivalent to the effective clock speed 2400 MHz. The rated operating frequency is a bit lower, but we'll talk about that in the next part of the review. Now we move on to the next part.
||CPU & Memory: